By Geoffrey Scarre
In his examine of witchcraft and magic in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe, Geoffrey Scarre offers an exam of the theoretical and highbrow rationales which made prosecution for the crime appropriate to the continent's judiciaries.
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In his learn of witchcraft and magic in sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe, Geoffrey Scarre presents an exam of the theoretical and highbrow rationales which made prosecution for the crime applicable to the continent's judiciaries.
Extra info for Witchcraft and Magic in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe
Witch prosecution was not a feature of life in the New England colonies, and it is unlikely that the total of executions for the offence reached thirty. [iii] Witch prosecution: the victims Women were accused of witchcraft far more commonly than men. King James thought that there were twenty female witches to every male, because the female sex was frailer than the male, and therefore 'easier to be intrapped in these gross snares of the divell'. To what extent misogyny, or at least a low estimate of women's power to resist evil, was responsible 24 Table I: The proportion of women among defendants at witchcraft trials Location Women tried (%) Basel Essex Namur (Belgium) S.
Ii] Some explanations of witch prosecution Among the numerous approaches to explaining the stimulating conditions of witch prosecution, four merit some special consideration here. 37 [a} Witch prosecution as a reaction to disaster Few if any writers have argued that all prosecutions for witchcraft are to be seen as responses to disaster: the implausibility of such a thesis is clear from the experience of England and other regions, which had trials in periods free from war, famine or pestilence.
When pressure for witch trials came from both above and below, as it often did, the results were inevitably deadly. Once the genuineness of belief is properly recognised, it becomes easier to explain why witch trials were a phenomenon of early modern rather than of medieval times. We have seen that the stereotype of the demonic witch was a product of the end ofthe Middle Ages, and that it involved the notion 48 of her flying by night to meet with others of her kind at great assemblies presided over by the Devil.
Witchcraft and Magic in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe by Geoffrey Scarre